This was a good chapter for our group in that It helped us see the important difference between “sharing” our faith and “seeking to impose” our faith. We all feel comfortable with “sharing”, but confess to discomfort with the idea of seeking to “impose” our faith. Randy made good points that in sharing our faith we don’t need to believe we must be as knowledgeable as a preacher, we don’t need to have read the entire Bible, we don’t need to be able to quote Scripture. We do need to be able to comfortably share “our faith” with those who we believe to be in need. A good way to initiate this is to share our own individual stories. We also discussed the importance of sharing our faith by demonstrating our faith via our everyday words and actions. It was also comforting to hear Randy tell us that we are not responsible for the other (or another) person accepting what we share. We are, however, responsible for making the effort to share.
We opened our discussion with the idea that we are ambassadors for God in this world. An Ambassador represents the people who sent them to a people who don’t know them. They are judged by the words they speak and the action that they do. This then led to a discussion of how we speak to people about God and how we must meet them where they are and not try to impress them with fancy words. We talked of how we may sow the seed of faith and never see it grow, but that doesn’t mean someone else won’t see it grow and reap the harvest. We must always be prepared to sprinkle God’s Good News whenever and wherever we are. We also talked about how to share our faith story with others and the idea of practicing it so that it is ready when needed. Some felt they did not have a story, but we encouraged each other to look back through our lives and find those stories of God’s leading and share them. We also talked of ways that we can share our faith without speaking a word such as praying in public, saying a Blessing before we eat at a restaurant, or by telling peopled that we need to leave them because we don’t want to be late for Bible study. There are many ways to open the door for the Holy Spirit to enter.
We considered the sad truth that at times the world seems to hear more “bad news” then Good News from the church, and the media seems eager to publicize clergy abuse scandals, etc. We talked about what it means to be an “ambassador” of Christ, and how are calling is to be ambassadors for God, not ourselves. Even our failings and weaknesses, when we point to God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness, can be used for God’s glory. Apparent handicaps and “chains” may become aids to spreading good news of Jesus. We considered how our lives might have turned out differently were it not for Christ.
Why should we share our faith, even when we think it might be rejected? Are there times that a “No!” later becomes a “maybe” and then a “Yes!” Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good works, and give glory to God!
Are we doing all we can to share our faith? Is just living our life in Christ as an example enough? Does God call us to go a bit further? The Bible is filled with characters like David in the old testament, and Paul in the new, who shared their faith not only through their actions, but also their words. It’s easy to stay content in that comfort zone of “living by example”, but there may be people in our lives who desperately need answers; people who are so tired of living by the worlds standards, but don’t know any other way. Is God calling to you go beyond actions and examples?